“Write like it matters, and it will.” Wise and weighty words from Libba Bray. I’m struggling under their weight today. I have many topics I want to start writing about, but I feel more than a little overwhelmed by the responsibility. I want to process these ideas with you- whoever you are. If the topic applies to you, I want to hear your side of it. I’m nervous about making a statement that excludes something important, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to end an important discussion by not introducing a topic correctly.
Currently, The Big Topics are on a list that includes much more than the following:
Building community through shared meals (or other routines, or camping)
Simple acts of care during crisis
Something about Hospice care- more about loved ones dying
Raising a feminist son- more on being a white mom when your kids are not white
Depression and loneliness, or “asking for help is the only way to kill it, so why is is so hard to ask for help”
I don’t feel like The Big Topics aren’t entirely mine to write about, so how do I start? Do just put my ideas out there? Do I awkwardly interview others to get their input and perspective? Do I hop down The Google Rabbit Hole and see where I end up? Too often, The Big Topics are often overpowered by the ever-growing too-trivial-to-share writing list:
What to cook and eat when your kids have sports five days a week
Yesterday I felt-like-a-rage-monster, but it’s ok because today I feel-like-a-mom-again
I cleaned my bathroom and now I feel like I deserve a celebratory metal
I cooked a giant batch of vegan lentil and veggie soup, it’s all I’m eating for lunch and I’m pretty sure it’s giving me super powers
Seriously, eat more lentils, your poops will amaze you
Harry Potter: the best bedtime story in the history of the world
I’ve drowned myself in Google results, trying to narrow down the “how to start writing” results to the specific kind of writing I’m not doing. I’ve read what feels like hundreds of pages, but all the scrolling could be making it feel more substantial than it actually is. That last sentence is making me second guess my grammar, and I instantly want to close out of this post. Relegate it to the never-visited “drafts” section of this website. My ratio of drafts to posts is in the double digits at least, but I don’t want to do the math and find out how many times I’ve stopped writing.
So how do I start? Do I really just hit Publish and let this post drift off into oblivion? I think I’m going to try and take Walter Mosley’s advice, but in a more public way and certainly not for a novel. I’ll call this my first draft, and also a call for help.
I want to start working through my list, but I sure as hell don’t want to do it alone. Please, please join me. I’m sharing this with you and asking for your help. If you have an anecdote or story, I want to hear it. If you think I didn’t word something properly, or if I need to give something more clarity, I want to hear it.
I’m not entirely sure how to feel about all of this, so rather than mull it over any longer and change my mind, I’m hitting Publish. Yikes.